Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/11/2014
1. World’s Biggest Boxship Named
South Korean shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) announced today that it held a naming ceremony for the world’s largest containership, the first of five 19,000 TEU containerships ordered from China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) in May 2013. The containership was named CSCL Globe by He Li Jun, wife of Xu Li Rong, chairman of China Shipping Group. The world’s largest containership, measuring 400.0 m in length, 58.6 m in width and 30.5 m in depth, is as large as four soccer fields, and will be deployed on the Asia-Europe trade loop after being handed over to the owner within this month.
2. Greenpeace Detained Once More
A year after being detained by Russian authorities, Greenpeace’s vessel Arctic Sunrise is once again under the control of government authorities. This time the Spanish government is seeking to fine the activist group for encroaching on a drilling campaign by Repsol off the Canary Islands. In violent confrontation last week near the Rowan Renaissance drillship, a Greenpeace activist was flown to a local hospital after suffering a broken leg. The video posted on YouTube has stirred an intense debate and Greenpeace has expressed outrage at what they interpret to be an “unjustified use of force.”
3. Dutch Banks Aggressively Pursues Debtors
Dutch bank ING has contacted a long list of carriers – very aggressively, according to the carriers – demanding that bills for fuel from OW Bunker be paid to ING. "I advise my clients not to pay," says prominent Danish maritime lawyer. While claims from creditors around the world are pouring in, most recently the three OW Bunker companies in the US claiming USD 50 million, one of the 13 main banks behind the Danish bunker company, Dutch ING, is trying to secure its outstanding claims before the bankrupt estate is settled. The bank can make these claims because fuel invoices are often forwarded immediately to a bank for collection.
4. Maersk Looks to Cut Deadwood
Maersk Line plans to cut unprofitable long-term contracts and raise its shipping rate again as weak demand and persistent overcapacity are likely to continue for at least two more years, a senior official at the company said. Silvia Ding, who heads South China operations at the unit of Denmark’s A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, said in an interview that the current spot rate for shipments moving from Asia to Europe, the world’s busiest trade route, is unprofitable, and that Maersk Line will raise its shipping rate again, though she declined to provide more details. “We need to be more disciplined in pushing the general rate increase,” she said.
5. Maersk Pushes for Canal Action
In a bid to enhance the Suez Canal Container Terminal’s (SCCT) capacity to facilitate mega-ships, Maersk has called on the Egyptian government to adhere to its previous commitment to finance and execute deepening works at the Suez Canal’s main entrance to the SCCT. SCCT needs public infrastructure enhancements to expand, however, the Egyptian government is no longer enthusiastic to proceed. According to Maersk, the enhanced infrastructure is required in order to maximise use of the terminal’s current capacity, but also to expand its capacity to receive larger container vessels.
6. South Korea Launches New Safety Agency
A new agency is set to replace South Korean Coast Guard, criticised over ferry catastrophe that killed more than 300. A former admiral has been picked to lead a new safety agency following the disbandment of South Korea’s Coast Guard in the wake of the Sewol ferry disaster, the office of President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday. The nomination of Park In-yong, the former deputy head of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, comes seven months after the Sewol sank off the country’s southwest coast, claiming the lives of hundreds of school children among 295 dead and nine still missing.
7. New Routing Plans Must Embrace Environment
Sulphur emissions caps in both the North Sea and North America ECAs could risk “unforeseen pitfalls” for operators, according to routeing firm Applied Weather Technologies (AWT). According to AWT senior operations manager Mike O’Brien, vessels entering North American waters were “likely to be carrying only the necessary (0.1% sulphur fuel) needed to exit the ECA zone”, opening themselves up to problems with severe weather. “It is not uncommon to hear that the ship does not have enough low sulphur fuel to sail the suggested route,” explains O’Brien. Decisions are then vital on routing options.
8. Port Security In Focus
Private maritime security companies are stepping up services to meet the rising demand for port security, and to combat increasingly sophisticated threats to ports worldwide. The action comes as owners and operators face a growing complexity of risks from piracy and maritime crime, as well as organised crime syndicates, some of which feed into terrorist networks. According to the latest industry figures, there have been 129 reported incidents of maritime crime so far in 2014 in the AMEA region.
9. Manila Could Build an Island for Boxes
Following claims made that congestion at the Port of Manila is causing its vessels to be delayed by around 12 days, the Philippine government is now considering plans to build an offshore container terminal at the Sangley Point region of the country’s capital. The new project will span three artificial islands – totalling 2,000ha – across Manila Bay: one will be used for a container and liquid-bulk port, another will be used for an airport facility and the last will be used as a logistics and light manufacturing zone. The project is estimated to cost somewhere in the region of US$30 billion.
10. Keeping Crews Safe and Healthy
The U.S. Navy has released guidance for commanders and health professionals on reducing access to lethal means as related to suicide prevention through voluntary storage of privately-owned firearms. This guidance is part of a broader Department of Defense strategy to prevent suicide and related tragedies in the military. "Firearms were used in half of all Navy suicide deaths in 2012 and 2013, and continue to be the primary method used in both military and civilian suicides," said Captain Mike D. Smith, director, Navy Suicide Prevention Branch.
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